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A Castle of Cards

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This was bad, no correction it was beyond bad it was Baltimore all over again but worse cause this time it wasn't just a dirty partner he had to worry about it was everyone. He didn't know who if anyone he could trust to watch his six. Operation Frankenstein just the name had him freaked, how the hell did a eight year old cold case turn into a National Security disaster with ties going as far up as the Vice President?

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Last Week - Monday Morning
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"You're on cold cases till I decide that you belong here Dinozzo," Gibbs smirked as he tossed a pile of folders on his SIC's desk. Tony looked up to see Mcgee and Ziva grinning at him.

"So, I tell you that they broke protocol by turning off the radio and they get rewarded," Tony said as he sat back in his chair. "I thought that your rule was to have your partners back."

"I talked to them they told me that they didn't do it, therefore you are the one trying to make trouble and if you think you can break up MY TEAM then your wrong, now get your ass in gear your working out of conference room 2 this week, and if you have a problem with that then the doors that way."

Grabbing the files off his desk, he turned to walk away clenching his teeth together so not to lash out when he heard Mcgee chuckle and comment "Guess that means I'm the new SFA huh Boss." Was he that stupid there was way he could get promoted even if Tony was off the team he wasn't remotely qualified and even Gibbs didn't have the power to make it happen.

"We don't need a SFA, you answer to me and me alone," Gibbs snarled back. "Tony can do the paperwork and you two will be in the field with me since that seems to be all he's good for."

How the hell had it become so toxic? What happened to This team is Family?

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Present Time
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"Compromised, they all have ties to this....I know it seems like....Yes sir I understand....Thank you I'll make my way over to your office to give an official statement and bring over the evidence as soon as I can get clear of here....I'm safe they have no clue ....Ya well, they seem to think I'm a clown who just lucks into solving the case....Okay I should be there after lunch if not send in the Calvary." Ending the call, Tony leaned up against the back wall of the elevator 'Gibbs private conference room' and snorted maybe just maybe things were looking up. He hoped he made the right call that Tom Morrow was one one of the good guys but right now he was all he had.

Walking from the elevator, towards his makeshift work space in the conference room Tony looked over at his teammates in the bullpen (yeah there was no way he would ever be able to work with any of them again) and inwardly cringed, it was going to take all of his acting abilities and undercover skills to make it through the day without losing it. Arriving at the conference room door the theme for Mission Impossible began playing in his head, all he had to do was get everything gathered together and get it out of the building without being caught by anyone oh yeah he could do he smiled to himself the Castle of Cards was coming down because the Wild Card trumped them all.

At the same time, Director Morrow of Home-Land/World Security was shaking his head 'Only you Tony, only you' he thought to himself how the hell had he turned a cold case that involved a suspicious shooting into a government cover-up that included brainwashed marines, False Identities, Dirty cops/feds the trust and N.I.D. and who knows what else. No scratch that, this was the mans specialty, thinking outside the box putting all the pieces together from a dozen puzzle boxes scrambled together and switched around with no instructions to guide him to make one giant picture out of them, but still a dead marine that was killed while on leave 8 years ago to the mess that now had to be cleaned up he surpassed even himself this time proving once and for all that he was the best there was. Reaching over to his phone he called the one number that he knew would need to be involved "O'Neill we need to talk."

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Last Week - Monday Morning
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"All righty now which of you lucky files gets my attention today lets see 'Einey Meiney Minee Moe' and we have a winner here folks lets see who our contestant is today. Petty Officer First Class Linden nice to meet you, now who wanted you dead?" Three hours later Tony was beginning to think that it wasn't just incompetence but gross negligence on part of the original investigators either that or an order from higher up to sweep the whole mess under the rug and declare it unsolvable cause there was no way they should have missed that the bullet that killed Linden had to have come from a sniper rifle, and if it wasn't lazy investigators that meant Oh Shit what was he walking into.

It had taken the rest of the afternoon but he had six more cases with the same M.O. the main thing in common was the single shot from a high powered sniper rifle and sloppy investigations, a N.C.I.S. out of Hawaii, two F.B.I. files from five years ago, an NYPD case from two years ago, an open investigation in Florida, and a questionable case from Colorado three years ago. If this was what he could find in five hours then what else was there? And where did he begin?

"Intelligence officer. Stupidity officer is more like it. Pentagon wants to open a Stupidity Division, they know who they can get to lead it," the line delivered by Ole Blue Eyes himself popped into Tonys mind it was from a classic The Manchurian Candidate (1962) but how did that no no no a government led assassin team that was way to Hollywood but what if....what if? He hoped he was wrong, but somehow his gut was telling him he was on the right track now all he had to was figure out where the needle in the haystack was and follow the threads after.

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Present Time
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"Wait so your telling me that a Navy Cop has cracked open the biggest Shitstorm of the century just because he was stuck on cold cases by his boss for reporting dereliction of duty and that his boss...Well Crap, I want him on my team." General Johnathon "Jack" O'Neill sat in Morrows office waiting for the aforementioned Agent to show up.

"You and a dozen other Alphabets, but the big question is going be does he want to stay an agent you and I both know that with this hes not going to trust anyone any more. I've known him since he came to N.C.I.S. from Baltimore and the only reason we got him was his partner was dirty he needed a change and thought he could trust us. I don't know exactly what he has just that the Trust and N.I.D. are all over it and hes scared for his life right now. The people he thought had his back are gone and hes not sure what to do next." Tom sat behind his desk going over what he had on the trust and rogue N.I.D. and knew that whatever Tony had was going to put his information to shame the man had connections upon connections that he could only dream of having."I'll tell you this though, I'm going to do my damnest to make sure he is taken care of, and if he wants he can write his own ticket when this is done. Out of everyone he is the only one that I trust to do the right thing...he took down the mob, turned in a dirty partner, ran interference for the most cantankerous bastard I've met, worked with a Mossad operative as his partner who holds him in contempt because he doesn't trust her like the rest of his team does, run multiple undercover ops, survived the plague and still believes the law has to be upheld above all else."

"Whoa back up, the PLAGUE your joking right?"

"Wish I was, Tony DiNozzo is either the luckiest or unluckiest man I've ever met, he might put himself down and act like a Frat Boy at times but he is one of the smartest men I know, and for those that he lets see through his mask are few and far between in fact I would be willing to bet that even then we don't get to see the real man."

A knock on his door interupted what he was going to say next, "Director, Agent DiNozzo is here."

"Send him in Amelia, could you see we not get interrupted for the next few hours?"

"Of course sir, is there anything else?"

"Send an urn of Coffee and sandwich platter up its going to be a long night."